The Gujarat Formation Day, also known as Gujarat Sthapana Divas is commemorated every year on May 1 in recognition of the creation of Gujarat as a separate state out of the then Bombay state on linguistic grounds in 1960. This year, the home state of Mahatma Gandhi will be celebrating its 62 years of formation as a separate political entity recalling and cherishing its struggle and emergence as an independent state.
Gujarat Formation Day History
The Gujarat state, which came to assume its political identity as a separate state on May 1, 1960, on linguistic grounds, has a very rich tradition and history. In the post-Independent era, after India attained its independence in 1947, the demand for the creation of States on linguistic grounds gained momentum across the country, including in Gujarat, where the Mahagujarat movement, also known as the Mahagujarat Andolan played a significant role.
The Mahagujarat idea was first advocated by KM Munshi, a freedom fighter and it was presented at the Gujarat Sahitya Sabha for the first time in 1937 which was held in Karachi.
Gujarat Formation Day Importance
The creation of Gujarat can be credited to the Mahagujarat movement aka Mahagujarat Andolan – a political movement that demanded the creation of Gujarat state for Gujarati-speaking people from the then bilingual Bombay state of India in 1956.
In achieving the objective of a separate Gujarat state, a Mahagujarat conference was held in 1948 to include all Gujarati-speaking people under one administration which eventually resulted in the formation of Gujarat on 1 May 1960, including the regions Saurashtra and Kutch.
Mahagujarat Janata Parishad was formed under the guidance and leadership of Indulal Yagnik in the realization of the dream of a separate Gujarat state. Indulal Yagnik led the Mahagujarat movement during which he was arrested and imprisoned along with other leaders of the movement such as Dinkar Mehta, Dhanvant Shroff, etc.
Following the creation of Gujarat, Ahmedabad came to assume the status of the chief city of the new state and housed all the government offices of the State, until they were transferred to Gandhinagar a decade later, in 1970.
Gujarat Formation Day – Key Facts About Gujarat
Gujarat is 2nd largest producer of crude oil (onshore), 4th largest producer of natural gas, occupies the first spot in Logistics in the country with 42 ports and 18 operational
airports, and is one of the leading industrialised states in India.
Gujarat is regarded as the petroleum capital of India with several refinery units, and housing several Oil and Gas reserves in places like Ankleshwar, Mehsana, Tapti High, Hazira, Bharuch, Gandhar, Dahej, Jambusar, Palej, and Kalol. It is the world’s largest producer of processed diamonds, accounting for 72% of the world’s processed diamond share and 80% of India’s diamond exports.
Gujarat is marked as the largest manufacturer of denim in the country contributing 65 to 70 percent to India’s denim production, and the third-largest in the world. It has 60 notified special economic zones (SEZs).
Gujarat also forms India’s chemicals and petrochemicals hub with eight chemical clusters, 14 industrial estates, and three SEZs, which are primarily dedicated to the chemicals and petrochemicals industry.
Over 65% of Gujarat’s population is in the working-age group of 15-59 years and is the 9th most populated state in India, with a population strength of 60.4 mn home to 5% of the country’s total population.
Gujarat is also home to several educational institutions of higher learning comprising 3 Central Universities, 22 State Universities, 32 Private Universities, 238 Engineering Colleges (AICTE approved), 422 Industrial Training Institutes, 145 Polytechnic Institutes, 74 Pharmacy Colleges, and 4 Agricultural Universities
Gujarat is popular for it is folk and cultural fairs such as Kavant, Shamlaji, Tarnetar, etc. which adds to its grandeur.